Carly Brandvold is the Ethos Kids Pastor, overseeing all our campuses and children! (Yeah, she's got a big job!!) She is also a lifelong learner and voracious reader...and she's passionate about sharing what she's learning with people in her life. She's also very encouraging...and through the following post, we hope you'll feel encouraged to finish this season of fasting with grace and dedication!
- - - - -
“I can’t believe I let the whole weekend go by and I didn’t pray for the people on my list one time.”
“I broke my fast twice this week.”
“Why am I doing this again?”
“My prayers for the people on my list feel stiff and disconnected. I don’t even know what to pray for.”
“I don’t feel like I have seen God show up at all since we started this.”
These are all things I have said to myself or I have heard others say in the past week. Raise your hand if you have felt shame and legalism creeping up in you as you have had these thoughts? (Insert me with both hands raised.)
We are beginning the last week of the fast and some of us are counting down the days until it is over. Discouraged. Exhausted. Shamed.
If this is you, keep reading. I have good news for you.
I picture Jesus looking into your eyes with great pride and joy. Jesus is immensely proud of the ways your are pursuing deeper intimacy with God. I picture Jesus telling you, “You are doing good work. You are showing up. You are joining in on something far bigger than yourself.”
I also picture Jesus saying to you, “You are not perfect and you do not have to be perfect. I am far more concerned that you just keep pursuing me.”
There is something that happens to our hearts when we continue to pursue God. Showing up to God is not a transactional experience but a transformational experience. As we continue to show up, we will be transformed. But, this transformation cannot usually be measured in day-to-day experiences.
So, you’ve missed a day or two. Maybe you’ve been frustrated with the lack of ‘progress’ in your prayer time. Perhaps you don’t feel any more connected to God in this season. Maybe you’re struggling to remember why you’re even doing this.
What if we took these thoughts and allowed them to become a part of our transformation?
Don’t beat yourself up. Tell a friend your feelings and frustrations. And keep showing up to God. Show up with the best you have to give today. Show up despite the feelings of shame and discouragement that have crept into your heart and mind. And trust that God is in the business of transformation.
Not today, shame! Today, we will show up together!